The mood of the pioneer, the wanderlust of the pagan traveller exploring the universe of Roberto Cavalli, is the inspiration for Creative Director Peter Dundas’ spring/summer 2017 Roberto Cavalli collection. A melange of inspirations and influences, times and places, she wears her world, combining different cultures in a mix that feels quintessentially now and uniquely Cavalli.
Patchwork is a key notion: the patchworking of fabric, but also of different eras and locales. The Americas are a key starting point, prints and fabrics of Navajo and Apache tribes alongside the embroidered tailoring of Nudie Cohn, an ode to Elvis and the rock-and-roll heartbeat that throbs under every Cavalli collection. They combine with kimonos, Egyptian textiles, Buffalo soldiers, Victorian pioneers, and jaguar prints from Africa. A whole Cavalli world.
The collection is a game of contrasts. Noble fabrics – fils coupé jacquards and velvets – combine with denim. The art of the mix is vital. Gossamer beaded gowns, louche and decadent, are laced together along the seams, another form of patchwork, lending emphasis to their exquisite embellishment.
Colours are vivid, with gold, solarised orange, sunbleached pastels and chambray denim blue. Ombré finishes lend a patina of age, of clothes that have already lived and travelled.
The voyager mood is underlined by accessories: for day, generous hunter bags, while embroidered Victorian purses are a delicate accent for evening. Jewellery is artisanal, referencing native American tribal jewellery combined with Victoriana. Platform-sole wooden clogs are inspired by traditional Scandinavian dress, made glamorous via luxurious fabrics and craftsmanship.
The line is long, sinuous, the signature serpentine Cavalli silhouette evoked through slender flares and goddess gowns, skin seductively revealed through transparent fabrics and corset lacing. Male models walk alongside female in their finery, wardrobes in synch via an urge to exploration and love of cultural clash – the new Cavalli traveller tribe.